25 August 2009

Birthday celebration and a photo

I guess it is a bit of serendipity, a fortunate "accident", that today, when I have my thirtieth birthday, the official Cape Town Tourism site selected my photo as their photo of the day. You can see the actual post on their site from here.

Happy birthday to me.

3 August 2009

Coming out of the closet

I've always taken a great pride in the music I listen to. There are songs, even albums that move me like I can't even explain, although last week I started writing a piece for this blog in an attempt to do so. I wrote the first half of a sort of early-Nietzschean analysis of experience of art, which I felt was rather pompous even by my standard. I had selected three records that I can, almost at any time put on and listen to from the beginning to the very end. Those records are It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back by Public Enemy, Boy In Da Corner by Dizzee Rascal and It's Not a Rumour by Akala. All of these albums, to me, represent something much more than a hundred years of chart toppers combined. Easily. I also used to present and produce a music specialist programme on radio where I researched music rather globally and played some absolutely amazing music. I was in contact with many artists world wide and got on their promo MP3 posting lists, and it was important for me to treat the music with respect I felt it deserves.

That's the official story. Every word of it is true, but of course I like a lot less cool music as well. I suppose I still have a delusion of some kind of street credibility and it might have stopped me from talking about the other. But because my instincts have told me not to, then probably it is exactly the kind of stuff that I should be talking about. To get it out of my system and to swing open those closet doors.

It's not always that this happens, but recently I revisited my childhood favourite Roxette and realised what kind of brilliant pop music they made. Now, this last weekend, I made myself a playlist that I must say few words on. It's a compilation of songs from various years from the late 70's to almost today and some tracks are very classy, but the ones I cannot turn off aren't.

I've been listening to You Are My Destiny by Lionel Richie basically non-stop. It's pretty amazing song in its innocence, and the incredible naivety of the lyrics describe exactly how I feel about my wife.

One of my all time secret favourites Tainted Love by Softcell is also on the rotation, but what I myself see as the unlikeliest song to occupy my space with repeat 1 is Alice Cooper's Poison. Yes, Alice Cooper's Poison. I never liked it much because I took a stand against rock music. Where I grew up you had to basically select rap or rock and I was the only person to choose rap. Not that I chose it against my will, I still prefer it, a lot, but at the tender age I was in, I was far too insecure to give any props to anything else.

So how much is it with irony that I listen to these songs? Does it matter? I actually think that the ironic experiences don't have much difference in this types of cases; I listen to these songs because they are catchy, nostalgic maybe, but I like them. To call it irony would be just to try to disguise it. These are great songs. There, I said it.


Rainbow in Cape Town